By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
PLEASANT VALLEY —
All it took for Fairmont Post 17 to pick up a victory over Moundsville Post 3 Wednesday night was a little rhythm.
And once it started to hit the right note at East Fairmont High School, the fat lady sang to the tune of an 11-1 victory in favor of the home team.
Fairmont (2-0) drove in 11 runs on 10 hits over six innings to keep its young Legion record blemish free.
“It’s important for any team to do good and to start their season off like this,” Fairmont’s Fletcher DeVaul said. “It gets you some confidence, and confidence can take you a long way.”
With a healthy diet of hits, solid defense and stealthy pitching, Fairmont pulled ahead after an early deficit.
Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom half of the third inning, Chris Petrucci and Travis Gordon led off with back-to-back singles and would both later be driven in by a DeVaul double to take the lead.
“The younger kids look up to you if you’ve been here before,” DeVaul, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, said. “As an older kid, you definitely want to lead by example.”
Following DeVaul’s example, Fairmont never looked back, adding runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to seal the deal.
“We started out slow, but in the third inning we started hitting the ball,” Fairmont coach Marty Morgan said. “After that, we kept hitting the ball hard.”
The nail in the coffin was the fifth inning, though.
Fairmont sent all nine batters to the plate and scored six of its 11 runs in the bottom half of the frame after Moundsville’s Joe Myers loaded the bases after three straight walks, ending his day.
After one run crossed on an error, Gage Hannah singled to score a run. Travis Smith followed up with a two-RBI double off the bench. Ryan Jolliffe and Petrucci would each add RBIs on sacrifice plays to extend the lead to nine runs heading into the sixth, where the game ended in the bottom half on yet another Moundsville error, allowing Johnny Kesling to cross the plate.
“We’ve got to rotate and get guys in so everyone can hit,” Morgan said of his team’s performance. “Everybody’s going to get a shot.”
Petrucci (3-for-4 with 2 RBIs), Kesling (1-for-3), Hannah (2-for-2 with an RBI) and Smith (1-for-2 with two RBIs) all added hits in the game for Fairmont.
On the mound for Fairmont, Matt Hawkins picked up the win, throwing 4.0 innings while allowing just three hits and one run. James Bolander came in in relief and tossed 2.0 innings, giving up zero runs on three hits while striking out two.
“They pitched well. They got some innings, got some work,” Morgan said of his pitchers. “They haven’t pitched in a month since high school baseball.”
For Moundsville, Hunter Kaschke went 2-for-3 with the team’s lone RBI.
Fairmont is scheduled to play again today with a game at 3:30 p.m. against Romney at Davis & Elkins College and again against Preston at 8 p.m. at Philip Barbour High School.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.